KURTZ: The folks at Fox News have found something to be fore in this age of Obama. They are firmly in favor of tea parties.
KURTZ (voice-over): On Wednesday -- that would be April 15th -- there will be tax protests around the country on the theme of the original Boston Tea Party. TaxDayTeaParty.com says it was inspired by that rant against President Obama's mortgage aid plan by CNBC's Rick Santelli.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Obama, are you listening?
NARRATOR: From sea to shining sea, in every city, we, the people, take our nation back.
KURTZ: Among those backing what's being billed as a grassroots movement, a conservative blogger, Michelle Malkin, a Fox contributor. Newt Gingrich, the former House-speaker-turned-Fox-analyst, will also will be attending one of the parties. Fox News, whose new online slogan is "Just Say No to Biased Media," began publicizing the protests, and soon some hosts were signing on.
GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS: We're getting ready for next week's Tax Day tea parties. All across the country, people coming together to let the politicians know, OK, enough spending.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: And, of course, April 15th, our big show coming out of Atlanta. It's Tax Day, our Tax Day tea party show. Don't forget, we're going to have "Joe the Plumber."
KURTZ: Now, the hosts at Rupert Murdoch's network all make up their own minds, right? But soon the tax protest became a full-fledged Fox fight.
BECK: Fox News with "Your World With Neil Cavuto" is going to be live in Sacramento, California at 4:00 p.m.. That's 4:00 p.m. Eastern, 1:00 p.m. Pacific. Our show is going to be at the Alamo at our regular time. Then "Hannity" will be in Atlanta, Georgia, at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, 6:00 p.m. Pacific. And then Greta is live in Washington, D.C., 10:00 p.m. Eastern, 7:00 p.m. Pacific Time.
KURTZ: These hosts said little or nothing about the huge deficits run up by President Bush, but Barack Obama's budget and tax plans have driven them to tea.
On the other hand, CNN and MSNBC may have dropped the ball by all but ignoring the protests.
KURTZ: Glenn and company joining the somewhat over-caffeinated tea parties. They are commentators who are paid for their point of view, and these aren't Republican Party events. At least not officially. Obviously, they're playing to their conservative base.
The test for me is whether these Fox hosts occasionally find something nice to say about President Obama. In the interest of being fair and balanced, of course.
The right-wingers want to know how FOX is financing this movement? It's because they are endlessly promoting it on every show that has. The hosts are saying they will be covering the event as if it's a presidential debate.
And that type of publicity costs, ladies and gentleman. It costs big time, and FOX is giving thousands upon thousands of dollars of free advertising to a movement that is being financed by right-wing special-interest groups who DO NOT care about the working class in America. It's shameful for a TV network to engage in such slobbering programming, but it's FOX and Roger Ailes. They use their media as a wedge to attack liberals and Democratic politicians every single day. It's what Ailes has lived for ever since he was a Nixon operative.
It's nice that Howard Kurtz admits that FOX is acting like a propaganda network, but when he says CNN and MSNBC might be missing the boat, he cheapens his complaints somewhat. CNN and MSNBC are smart enough to know what's happening here. They've obviously made a conscious choice not to feed the Bonfires of Wingnuttery.